Growing up with the Troubles: Reading and Negotiating Space

Angela Mazzetti

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


Much research on the Troubles has relied on traditional methods, and
there is value to adopting a wider range of conceptual perspectives, research
methods and methods of data analyses (Muldoon 2004). In this chapter, I
present my autoethnographic account of growing up during the Troubles.
Autoethnography uses personal experiences to purposefully reflect on
the self within a sociocultural context (Coffey 1999) and is therefore an
effective approach for gaining a deep insight into sociocultural phenomena
through reflection and analysis of one’s personal experiences of those
phenomena (Reed-Danahay 1997).19 In reflecting on past experiences,
it is important not to equate memory with history and fact (Cappelletto
2003; Kirmayer 1996). Autoethnography seeks to ‘extract meaning from
experience rather than to depict experience exactly as it was lived’ (Bochner
2000: 270). In painting a picture of one’s life, there is no one true picture
but rather multiple images and traces of events (Denzin 2014). This chapter
is not an event history of the Troubles. I make no claim that what I present
is a historically accurate recall of events; but neither is this an act of fiction
embellished with fictional characters and dramatized emotions. None of
the details have been purposely changed for dramatic effect. However, they
are presented from my perspective and I acknowledge that my recall may
be hazy and also contested.20 Simply, these are my memories of selected
events,21 as I remember them.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEthnographies of Movement, Sociality and Space: Place-Making in the New Northern Ireland
PublisherBerghahn Books
ISBN (Print)9781785339370
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Publication series

NameMaterial Mediations: People and Things in a World of Movement


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